Futures for WTI crude oil fell by about 2%, dropping at the same time below $ 48 per barrel, which was associated with the publication of weak statistics on the US. Meanwhile, the price of Brent crude fell by more than 1%, approaching to the level of $ 57 per barrel
One report showed that retail sales in the US fell the third consecutive month in February, which was partly due to the bad weather in various parts of the country. But it is also a sign of continuing caution among American households, despite the improvement in the labor market and lower gasoline prices. Sales in retail stores and restaurants decreased by 0.6% last month and amounted to a seasonally adjusted $ 437 billion., Said the Ministry of Commerce. Retail sales fell 0.8% in January and 0.9% in December. Economists had expected overall sales will grow by 0.5% in February. Compared with a year earlier retail sales rose 1.7% in February.
Meanwhile, the Labor Department said import prices rose 0.4% in February from January, said on Thursday. Economists had forecast an increase of 0.2%. Compared with the previous year, prices fell by 9.4%. This marked the biggest decline compared to last year from September 2009. Import prices declined along with the sharp fall in oil prices. Oil prices fell to $ 100 a barrel last summer to below $ 50 a barrel by the end of January. Prices generally stabilized since then. Petroleum import prices rose 8.1% in February compared with the previous month, but decreased by 43.2% from February 2014. With the exception of oil, import prices fell by 0.4% compared to the previous month and fell by 1.8% compared with a year earlier. Meanwhile, prices of goods exported from the United States fell 0.1% in February from January, and decreased by 5.9% per annum.
Negative data reduced the optimism about the strength of economic recovery and forced investors to reduce expectations for a rate hike in the United States.
Investors will also continue to assess yesterday's data on stocks of petroleum products in the United States. Recall the week 28 February to 6 March crude oil reserves rose by 4.5 million barrels to 448.9 million barrels, while experts had expected growth to 4.8 million. Barrels. Commercial oil reserves in the US, according to figures remain at historical highs over the past 80 years. Oil reserves in Cushing terminal rose by 2.3 million barrels to 51.5 million barrels. Stocks has exceeded 50 million barrels for the first time on 31 May 2013.
April futures price for US light crude oil WTI (Light Sweet Crude Oil) dropped to 47.47 dollars per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
April futures price for North Sea Brent crude oil mix fell $ 0.71 to 57.07 dollars a barrel on the London Stock Exchange ICE Futures Europe.